Speaking of transition

In the course of his joint Tokyo press conference with the Japanese prime minister yesterday — the White House has posted the transcript here — a reporter asked President Biden about the economy:

During your trip here to Asia, you’ve promoted the investments by Samsung and Hyundai. But back home in the United States, Americans are dealing with record-high inflation. The Fed has raised interest rates to try to address those issues. And there are also just enormously high gas prices.

Given the cross-currents of the economy right now — the war in Ukraine, the China lockdowns that we’ve seen — should Americans be prepared for a recession? In your view, is a recession in the United States inevitable?

The question built in the blame-shifting escape hatches that Biden himself has come to rely on. In the course of his response, he implied that the explosion in energy prices that he has helped engineer since January 20, 2021 was by design. That is the point of the RNC video clip in the tweet at the bottom.

Biden’s response is worth a look. See if you can follow his winding train of thought. Here is Biden’s response in its entirety:

Look, you’re talking about the significant progress we’ve made in making sure we don’t have supply chain backups — about the 8,000 jobs that Hyundai is going to be bringing to Georgia; 3,000 jobs to Texas from Samsung, $17 billion investment; Toyota, 1,700 jobs in North Carolina on battery technology; the situation where we — at — we’ve created over 8 million new jobs, where unemployment is down to 3.6 percent, and so on and so forth — as if they’re a problem. Imagine where we’d be with Putin’s tax and the war in Ukraine had we not made that enormous progress.

Our GDP is going to grow faster than China’s for the first time in 40 years. Now, does that mean we don’t have problems? We do. We have problems that the rest of the world has, but less consequential than the rest of the world has because of our internal growth and strength.

Here’s the situation. And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.

You see what Europe is doing relative to the importation of Russian gas. You see what — anyway, I won’t go through it all, but —

And what I’ve been able to do to keep it from getting even worse — and it’s bad. [Ed.: What was it you’ve been able to do?] The price of gas at the pump is something that I told you — you heard me say before — it would be a matter of great discussion at my kitchen table when I was a kid growing up. It’s affecting a lot of families.

But we have released over two hundred and, I think, fifty-seven thousand — million barrels of oil, I should say. Us and the rest of the world we convinced to get involved. It’s helped, but it’s not been enough. {Ed.: Oh, so that’s it. We’ve all seen the wonders it worked. Not.]

We also find ourselves in a situation where we have food shortages — food shortages because of Ukraine. There are over — there are literally millions of bushels of oil — I mean, excuse me, of grain being held up in Ukraine that would fundamentally impact positively on the market in terms of bringing down food prices across the board. [Ed.: Translation: It’s not my fault.]

So we’re finding ourselves in a position where we’re working very hard with American farmers and American manufacturing- — and American agricultural products to provide more fertilizer and a whole range of things.

This is going to be a haul. [Ed.: Now you tell us. Two-and-a half-years to go.] This is going to take some time. Ed.: Two-and-a-half years.] But in the meantime, it seems to me the best thing I can do — in addition to try to get the Middle Eastern countries, including OPEC, to raise their production of oil and move along that route — is to see to it that we continue to grow our economy, create jobs. [Ed.: Of course, he omits his suppression of energy production in the United States. He’d rather crawl on bended knee to the Saudi monarchy.]

And the other thing is: There’s a second wave — I know you don’t want to talk about it — not necessarily you; people don’t want to talk about it right now. And I won’t take up the time. But there’s a second wave to impact on inflation, in terms of people’s daily cost.

If you’re able to have childcare at 17 percent of — 7 percent of your income [Ed.: ??? Some translation required], if you’re able to be in a position where we were able to provide for a tax cut for middle-class people and working-class people, et cetera — all those things would be very helpful. [Ed.: “A tax cut for working-class people, et cetera” also requires translation. I think he is alluding to the Bummer Beyond Belief spending gusher.]

And we — but when we have a 50-50 Senate, it means we have 50 presidents. And I’m having a little trouble getting some of these things passed. But we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep pushing.

Biden’s confused stream of consciousness recitation highlights the importance of a transition — of a transition to a Republican and, most of all, to to a Republican administration. It can’t come soon enough.

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